You’re no stranger to Zumba. Watching episodes of The View on the elliptical has become second nature. You have an occasional rendezvous with the treadmill and an on and off relationship with the recumbent bike. Getting moving is great, but if you want to get all the benefits of an active lifestyle you have to hit the weights. I know the weight room is scary. All that grunting and gratuitous flexing is enough to make even the strongest of stomachs a bit queasy. However, next time you think about forgoing that strength training workout to walk with 5 lbs weights on the treadmill (lame) I want you to remember the following things:
- Bone up– Strength training improves bone density and decreases the risk of osteoporosis
- Slim down– The more lean muscle mass you have, the easier it is to control your weight
- Stay safe– Building muscle protects your joints from injury and improves balance, two key factors for injury prevention
- Boost your endurance– The stronger you are, the longer it takes you to fatigue
- Feel better– Strength training can keep chronic conditions like back pain, obesity, diabetes, and depression at bay
I could go on and on with benefits (being able to kick more ass on a daily basis, challenging people to arm wrestling competitions with confidence, amusing your friends at parties by making your pecs dance) but the bottom line is strength training is vital to an all around healthy lifestyle. No need to become a gym rat either: 20-30 minutes a day at least twice a week will help you reap the benefits. So what are you waiting for? Give yourself the gift of some guns!
Okay, you talked me into it.
I will make a point of using my weights on a regular basis.
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